M.U. Law School Home

Home

Helpful Links

 

CIVIL PROCEDURE -- SPRING 2007

Course Information and Tentative Syllabus
Dean Larry Dessem

I. Classes. Our class will meet on Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:20 in Room 4. Our first class will be on Wednesday January 17, and our last class of the semester will be on Wednesday April 25.

II. Office Hours. I welcome your questions, and I encourage you to raise those questions during our class periods so that your colleagues can benefit from both the questions and my responses. If I'm not in my office in Room 203, my assistant, Ms. Judy Tayloe, will know when I can meet with you. I'd also be happy to talk with you before or after class so that we can schedule a mutually convenient time to talk. My office telephone number is 882-3246, my home telephone number is 256-6825, and my email is DessemRL@missouri.edu.

III. Disability Accommodations. If you need accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please inform me immediately. Please see me privately after class or at my office in Room 203. To request academic accommodations (for example, a note taker), students must also register with MU Disability Services, AO38 Brady Commons, 882-4696. It is the campus office responsible for reviewing documentation provided by students requesting academic accommodations and for accommodations planning in cooperation with students and instructors, as needed and consistent with course requirements. For other MU resources for students with disabilities, click on "Disability Resources" on the MU homepage.

IV. Attendance and Participation. I consider class attendance and participation to be extremely important and believe that not only your success, but the success or failure of our class, will depend, in part, upon the preparation and participation of each student in the class. For this reason, I expect any student who will not be present in class, or who will not be prepared to participate, to present me with the motion for extension of time contained in this packet of materials. I also reserve the right to impose upon students who, without a valid excuse, do not attend class or are not prepared to participate all other sanctions permitted by the rules of the School of Law.

V. Class Preparation. I will expect that each student has carefully read all of the day's assigned text material and has come to class prepared to discuss both that material and any problems or exercises contained in that material. In reading the text, you should check out citations to rules and statutes highlighted in the textual material. These questions and problems will often provide the basis for class discussion, and you may be asked to provide and explain your answer to the class. Please be sure to bring both your text and the Rules supplement with you to each class.

I highly recommend that each of you "brief" each case that you are assigned to read. The particular format of case briefing that you use is not as significant as your diligence in actually briefing the cases. The purpose of case briefing should be to organize your study and sensitize you to the facts of each case, as well as to the procedural posture and issues presented by each case. Your study of civil procedure also will be helped if you consider the procedural posture of the cases that you study in your other first year courses. The great bulk of the cases that you study in your first year are appellate decisions, and it should help sharpen your understanding of civil procedure to consider just how each particular case reached the appellate courts in the posture that it did.

VI. Texts. The texts for this course are Stephen Yeazell, Civil Procedure (6th ed.) and the 2006 Rules supplement to that text–both of which were assigned in your Civil Procedure I course.

In addition to these major texts, you may find it helpful to consult other civil procedure reference works during the course of the semester. These books are on reserve at the law library.

Glannon, Civil Procedure: Examples and Explanations (5th ed. 2006). This paperback contains short discussions of much of the material covered in the Yeazell text, as well as hypothetical questions and explanatory answers. Although the majority of the book deals with topics covered in Civil Procedure I, you may find it helpful to consult Glannon on such Civil Procedure II topics as motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, directed verdicts, joinder, and discovery. The final portion of the book consists of the discussion of a hypothetical civil case, which is used to show "the Rules [of Civil Procedure] in Action."

Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure. This is perhaps the most extensive civil procedure authority, and I highly recommend it for any in-depth research in the area of either civil procedure or federal courts. It is particularly good concerning the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This treatise can be searched as a full text or browsed as an electronic book in Westlaw’s FPP database.

Moore, Moore's Federal Practice. This is the other major multi-volume civil procedure treatise. While it may not be as helpful or exhaustive as Wright & Miller, in certain areas, such as the finer points of federal jurisdiction, it can be extremely useful. This treatise can be searched as a full text or browsed as an electronic book within Lexis (by going from the main Lexis screen to Legal/Area of Law - By Topic/Litigation/Treatises & Analytical Materials/Matthew Bender(R)/Moore’s Federal Practice - Civil.

Friendenthal, Kane & Miller, Civil Procedure (4th ed. 2005). This is one of the better, and most exhaustive, one-volume civil procedure treatises. It achieves a nice balance between the theoretical and practical and contains many case citations.

James, Hazard & Leubsdorf, Civil Procedure (5th ed. 2001). This civil procedure treatise tends to focus more on theoretical aspects of civil procedure than on the day to day, more routine, problems that the civil practitioner may encounter. For instance, while the book devotes little space to the nuts and bolts of class actions, much attention is given to the historic background of procedure and there is a separate chapter concerning "social and economic aspects of civil litigation."

Shreve & Raven-Hansen, Understanding Civil Procedure (3d ed. 2002). This recent civil procedure treatise does a good job at comprehensively covering its subject matter in a single and clearly written volume.

Wright & Kane, Law of Federal Courts (6th ed. 2002). The focus of this well established one-volume treatise is on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which makes it particularly useful for the second semester of civil procedure.

In addition to the above treatises, there are several West "Nutshell" books on library reserve that deal with civil procedure. These are much abridged versions of a full length treatise, but some students find them helpful in organizing and studying a course. Kane, Civil Procedure (5th ed. 2003) contains a general overview of civil procedure (similar to the much more extensive treatment contained in the same author's Civil Procedure hornbook), while Currie, Federal Jurisdiction (4th ed. 1999) is addressed to the jurisdictional aspects of civil procedure that are covered in the first semester Finally, Dessem, Pretrial Litigation in a Nutshell (3d ed. 2002) discusses much of the material (particularly concerning the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) that we will study this semester in Civil Procedure II. Extensive amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure concerning electronic discovery became effective on December 1, 2006, and none of the above one-volume treatises address these new Rules. These amendments are discussed on pages 423-429 of the Yeazell supplement, and the current and complete text of these rules can be found at http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/.

While there are several commercial civil procedure outlines which attempt to organize and summarize the basic civil procedure course, I strongly recommend that you attempt to compile your own outlines (either by yourself or in a study group). Read the assigned text for each day and attempt to solve any problems or questions on your own before resorting to any supplemental texts. The final examination will be based exclusively upon the material discussed in class and in your texts and will not presuppose outside research or knowledge of any material outside the basic texts or our classes.

VII. Grading. Your grade in this class will be based upon (1) a series of weekly quizzes and (b) a final examination. At the beginning of each Monday class (starting on January 22), a quiz may be given at the first part of the class hour. The single multiple choice questions that will be asked will be worth two points each. There will be ten questions asked over the course of the semester, but only a maximum of 16 points can be earned based upon these quizzes. These quizzes will cover only material from the previous week's classes, and your combined point total on these quizzes will count for approximately 15% of your total grade in this course (with the remainder of your grade being determined by the final examination).

The final examination will contain both essay and multiple choice questions. These questions may relate to any of the material covered in the course this semester.

In computing your final grade, I will add the total number of points that each student has earned on his or her quizzes and final examination and then assign a grade based upon the Law School's grading scale.

The School of Law's Honor Code applies to all work done in this course. If you have any questions about this, please see me.

VIII. Suggestions. I am interested in constructive criticism concerning this course, and I hope that you will share your thoughts with me as the semester progresses. If you have not understood a particular point, chances are that other students could profit from further explanation.

CIVIL PROCEDURE -- SPRING 2007

Tentative Course Syllabus

The following is a tentative course syllabus for Civil Procedure II. While there undoubtedly will be changes in the specific day to day classes, I will attempt to stay as close to this syllabus as circumstances permit. All page references are to Stephen Yeazell, Civil Procedure (6th ed.) and presuppose study and discussion of the corresponding material in the 2006 Rules supplement.

WeekCoverage
Jan 15Class Actions. Pages 791-803. At our first class meeting on January 17, we begin a discussion of class actions. Be sure to read not only this textual material, but the text of Rule 23, carefully during your class preparation. In addition to our first regular class on the 17th, there will be a class for all Civil Procedure II students concerning pleading taught by Professor Esbeck at 1:00 in Room 7 on January 16. In preparation for this class, please read pages 371-372 in your Yeazell textbook and the following Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: 7(a), 8, 9, 10, 11(a) & (b), 12(b)(6), 12(c), 12(e), 12(f), 15(a), 26(a)(1)(A) & (B), and 26(b)(1).
Jan. 22Class Actions. Pages 803-818; Supplement pages 437-441. The week will begin with our first quiz of the semester on January 22 (based on material from the prior week). We then will continue our discussion of class actions, moving from a consideration of Rule 23's requirements, to the constitutional limitations imposed on class actions, to the jurisdictional issues posed by class actions.
Jan. 29Class Actions. Pages 821-832; Supplement pages 441-445. Our consideration of class actions will continue with a discussion of class action settlements, remedies, fees, and dismissals. During our class of January 31, we will hear from attorneys who handle class action litigation about current issues within, and the realities of, modern class action practice. There will be a required class for all first-year students on summary judgment at 1:00 on February 1 in Room 7 for the combined Civil Procedure II classes. Please read pages 513-526 before this combined class.
Feb. 5Discovery. Pages 407-427; Supplement pages 423-429. We will begin our discussion of discovery this week, focusing in particular on relevance, privilege, and the various discovery methods.
Feb. 12Discovery. Pages 427-446. Our continued discussion of discovery this week will include a consideration of the impact of privacy upon civil discovery, physical and mental examinations, and the work product doctrine.
Feb. 19Discovery. Pages 446-464. This week we will conclude our discussion of discovery with a consideration of the discovery of experts and the challenges of discovery abuse.
Feb. 26Resolution without Trial. Pages 465-475; 526-535; Supplement page 431. This week we will consider portions of Chapter VIII (Resolution without Trial), including a consideration of dismissals and judicial management of litigation. On February 27 at 1:00 in Room 7 there is a lecture concerning appeals for all Civil Procedure students; Please read pages 619-636 for this combined class. Students are to turn in their computer discovery exercise sheets by our class on Monday, March 5.
Mar. 5Identifying the Trier. Pages 537-546; 571-582; Supplement pages 433-434. This week we will consider the circumstances under which judges should be recused from considering a lawsuit and the constitutional limits on, and selection of, civil juries. Students are to turn in their computer discovery sheets by our class on Monday, March 5. There will be a class for all Civil Procedure II students concerning appeals taught by Professor Esbeck at 1:00 in Room 7 on March 6, before which class you should read pages 636-647 in the text; Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(f) and 65; Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 5 and 21; and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1292(a) & (b) and 1651(a).
Mar. 12Trial. Pages 583-601. In this week's classes we will focus on the evidence that can be submitted to the jury and the manner in which procedural rules control rational proof at trial.
Mar. 19Trial. Pages 601-617. We will conclude our discussion of Chapter X, discussing judgment as a matter of law, judicial efforts to guide and protect the jury, and new trials.
Mar. 26Have a good Spring Break!
April 2Respect for Judgments. Pages 657-680; Supplement page 435. We will begin our discussion of respect for judgments (specifically, claim preclusion).
April 9Respect for Judgments. Pages 680-694. We continue and conclude our discussion of claim preclusion and begin our discussion of issue preclusion.
April 16Respect for Judgments. Pages 694-712. We continue our discussion of issue preclusion.
April 23Respect for Judgments. Pages 715-723. We will conclude our semester with a consideration of the impact of full faith and credit upon the doctrine of respect for judgments.